Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy trails

It’s that time of year again. We dedicate a day to stuffing ourselves with turkey, dressing, casseroles, cakes and pies. Then the next day, my family rolls out of bed at the crack of dawn, puts on our boots and hits the trail.

It’s our tradition to go hiking the day after Thanksgiving. I think it started, in part, to get me as far away from the stores as my husband possibly could. Regardless, hiking with kids, although it may sound daunting, is a lot of fun. Just be sure to bring plenty of Chex mix (and make it heavy on the M&M’s).

Since we’ve begun our yearly hikes, we’ve been blessed with beautiful fall weather. We’ve also discovered many great trails around Georgia, but our destination of choice is Amicalola Falls, located in the North Georgia mountains in the midst of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Eight miles of trails lead hikers to the base of Springer Mountain, which marks the start of the Appalachian Trail. We haven’t made it there yet.

My husband and his friend used to hike this state park when they were teenagers. In fact, his mother used to drop them off with a backpack, some matches, and a frozen steak for the weekend. I guess this was before the Nebraska safe haven law.

Amicalola is a Cherokee Indian word meaning “tumbling waters,” quite appropriate for the 729 foot waterfall--the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. Leading up to the falls are many, many flights of stairs. We’ve climbed them all once, counting each step along the way—all 425 of them.

And it was well-worth the effort. On top of the mountain is a beautiful lodge, and inside that lodge is a mouthwatering buffet, featuring all of our Thanksgiving favorites. Fortunately, we always stay the night, so we can spend the next day working it all off again.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy trails, y’all!

No comments: